Light is essential to the human condition, yet light quality varies substantially both in nature and in controlled environments leading to questions of which artificial light characteristics facilitate maximum learning. In as much as computers have advantage, it also have its own disadvantage, students use computers on a daily basis and extensive viewing of the computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches, dry eyes and other symptoms of eyestrain. These symptoms may be caused by poor lighting, glare, an improper work station set-up, vision problems of which the person was not previously aware, or a combination of these factors. Children can experience many of the same symptoms related to computer use as adults.
Due to the rapid increase in the use of computers and other digital devices by students – young and old there is no conclusive data regarding the potential harmful effects of too much screen time on the eyes both in the short-term and later in life. Meanwhile, some students have gradually lost vision over a number of years; others may have been blind since birth, some may have no vision at all, but most people who advise that they are blind have some vision and may be light-sensitive, may experience blurred or distorted vision, others may have a restricted field of vision having less side vision, central vision or may see only half the field of view. Students may have some days when vision or light tolerance is much better than others.
Some visually impaired students may not appear any different from other students; a student may have difficulty identifying detail or reading prints, however, when the peripheral vision is affected it can reduce the visual field making mobility difficult.
The human evolution is shaped by light; human beings have adapted and developed an internal clock that under natural light conditions is synchronized to the earth’s 24-hour light-dark rotational cycle. Light is a strong enabler for visual performance, it regulates a large variety of bodily processes such as sleep and alertness, it is essential for cognition and mood, enables production of important hormones such as melatonin and cortisol and is essential for a healthy rest-activity pattern. The role of lighting in our daily lives is essential in order to operate ideally in every environment and it directly influences every dimension of human existence.
The lighting level for the proper use of a computer is about half as bright as that normally found in a classroom and increased light levels can contribute to excessive glare and problems associated with adjustments of the eye to different levels of light.
Technically in daily life computer is used to convert raw facts and data into meaningful information and knowledge and computer science is explored and challenged by humans daily. Schools and colleges around the world use computer and internet technologies to teach students digitally and creatively with data visualization and it uses explore creativity and imagination in students mind. but prolonged activity on the system without a significant break can cause accommodative problems and eye irritation, this may occur as a result of the eyes’ focusing system “locking in” to a particular target distance.
Lighting on learning and classroom achievement cannot be dismissed because it profoundly impacts numerous levels of human functioning such as vision, circadian rhythms, mood, and cognition Several studies have addressed how the quality and color of lighting can either impair or enhance students’ visual skills and thus, academic performance. Visual impairments alone can induce behavioral problems in students as well as level of concentration and motivation in the classroom.
Children have different needs to comfortably use a computer. A small amount of effort for precautions can help to reinforce the appropriate viewing habits and assure comfortable and enjoyable computer use and students with some vision may be large-print readers or may not be able to read at all without using special computer software or equipment. Many blind students prefer material in an electronic format while some students may want material reformatted into alternative formats. Skim reading may be very difficult or impossible and reading may need to be carefully paced to avoid fatigue or eye strain and headaches often result from eyestrain which may reduce considerably the study time available to these students.
The discomfort associated with computer usage has not yet been proven to result in permanent damage, but may cause a reduction in work accuracy. This can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Teachers and other professionals working with these children have to provide the necessary instruction and environmental modifications to help students maximize their visual ability, develop a positive self-image and greater independence in the classroom and the community and it is important that educators learn to change the environment or alter objects to make them easier to see by their students with low vision.
Article by Blessing Bassey